Professor Susan Lea FMedSci FRS

Susan Lea is an internationally renowned structural biologist who has pioneered the use of mixed structural methods to study host-pathogen interactions and other medically important molecular pathways. Her laboratory uses and develops cutting-edge structural methods including cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography to define molecular mechanisms involved in health and disease states. Using these approaches, she has unpicked fundamental interactions that define an individual's susceptibility to diseases such a bacterial meningitis, dysentery and typhi.  A particular highlight includes the recent determination of the molecular architecture of the bacterial flagellar motor, the prototypical biological machine.

Susan trained in Oxford and started her independent group with one of the first generation of Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships in the Biochemistry Department there. She later joined the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology eventually being appointed to the Chair of Microbiology in 2016. Since 2021 that Susan has been Chief of the Center for Structural Biology and Senior Investigator, National Cancer Institute, NIH Center for Cancer Research, Frederick, USA. Other honours include membership of EMBO, and Fellowship of both the Academy of Medical Sciences and the American Association of Microbiologists.

Professional position

  • Chief and Senior Investigator, Centre for Structural Biology, National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Professor Susan Lea FMedSci FRS
Elected 2022